You miss the animals and the trees

Sanne Burger

16 September 2021

This was whispered in my ear by an old olive tree I sat under

“Do you know why you, as human beings, often feel so isolated and lonely?
It’s not only because you lack the company of other human beings
It’s because you lack nature
You do not have animals around you anymore
Some people have a cat, or a dog
But before – on the farm, in the tribe – you had horses, dogs, cats, pigs, cows, donkeys, monkeys and birds
These animals have been very important company to you for centuries
But lately you have dismissed them
You have banned them from your lives
Subconsciously, you miss them

And another thing you miss is your connection to the trees
Do you know the trees in your surroundings?
Do you know the trees around your house?
What do their leaves look like?
What’s their character?
How do they feel?
Before, you grew up with trees
You would grow taller and the trees around you would grow taller as well
They would cheer you on
You would age, and the trees around you would age as well
They would reassure you

You learned so much from the trees before
About the rhythm of the seasons
About coming and going
About periods of abundance and periods of scarcity
About drought, growth, strength and endurance
Before, the trees were your friends
But now, you hardly notice them
You don’t see us anymore, even though we are still here
We haven’t changed
But you have

Maybe you even miss the short term relationships with the plants you would grow for food
It’s such a joy to plant something
To see it grow over a period of a few weeks or months and then to harvest it and eat it
There’s an aliveness to it, an intimacy with Mother Earth
She teaches you about goodness and generosity
You lost that too

Maybe it’s not so strange you feel isolated
You have developed a way of life that doesn’t suit you anymore
It’s become too sterile, too anonymous, too bare
Your senses are deprived
Your soul is withering
You need more animals, trees and plants around you
They are part of your social web
They are part of your well being
They are part of how your soul gets nourished

Come visit me more often
I’m here”

Sanne Burger
sanneburger.com

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